Hall of Fame Emerging Leaders
African Americans | Blacks
Sumitovant Biopharma, Inc.
Myrtle Potter is the Chief Executive Officer at Sumitovant Biopharma, Inc., a global, multibillion-dollar biopharmaceutical company. In this role, Potter oversees strategy, investment and operations for five biopharmaceutical companies: Myovant, Urovant, Enzyvant, Altavant and Spirovant in the Sumitovant Biopharma family of companies. These companies span multiple therapeutic areas and modalities, including monoclonal antibodies, gene therapies, regenerative therapies and small molecules. Prior to Sumitovant Biopharma, Potter served as CEO of Myrtle Potter & Company, a healthcare advisory firm that she started in 2005, which still operates today. Potter previously served as President and COO of Genentech and President of U.S. Cardiovascular/ Metabolics at Bristol-Myers Squibb.Potter serves on the boards of several Sumitovant Biopharma family biopharmaceutical companies, including Myovant Sciences, Urovant Sciences, Axovant Gene Therapies and Arbutus Biopharma. Potter also serves on the boards of Liberty Mutual Holding Company and Axsome Therapeutics. She is a trustee of The University of Chicago and previously served on the boards of Amazon, Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, among others. Potter earned her B.A. from The University of Chicago.
Clean Energy and Equity Advocate,
Natural Resources Defense Council
For Alexis Cureton, the pandemic has underscored that those left behind need advocates. Championing the needs of underserved communities is something he does on a daily basis through the lens of clean and efficient energy at the largest U.S. environmental organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council. Cureton’s work touches California’s disadvantaged communities through initiatives such as those providing energy retrofits at multi-family buildings and funding for resiliency plans during wildfire season for those who live in utility power shutoff zones. Before he joined NRDC, he helped low-income families gain greater access to electric vehicles and chargers through the nonprofit Greenlining Institute. While California is where his work is currently focused, Cureton’s upbringing traversed him across the U.S. South and Midwest via Tulsa, Oklahoma; Duluth, Georgia; and Indianapolis, Indiana. He attributes his ability to see a broader national perspective, and not just a local one, to his childhood growing up across diverse regions. Cureton says his father — a public health professional who would go above and beyond for his patients — inspired him to embrace a profession of helping others and "fighting on behalf of community members that look like me." He also looks to the teachings of scholars that advocated on behalf of those less fortunate, including W.E.B DuBois and Martin Luther King. But he notes: "It just so happens that my muse is clean energy."
District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility
Nabukalu first learned about the environmental impacts of that supply chain — including how it leads to vast forest loss — when she traveled to Uganda in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of her master’s degree in environmental studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Kampala, Uganda, Nabukalu had roots in the region before earning her master’s degree. Separate from the work she did in the region while in her environmental studies program, she traveled to Kumi, Uganda, to lead a reforestation effort with the Green Teso Initiative. Her team planted more than 20,000 trees at five primary schools in the region. "Our goal was to make sure that school children have trees so that they could play under the shade in eastern Uganda," Nabukalu says. "That is one of the things that I'm most proud of in terms of philanthropy." The project achieved a 90 percent success rate for seedlings within five months. Raising awareness about the energy demand associated with forest loss is one of Nabukalu’s goals. She says even more important is figuring out how to replenish the world's forests at a faster rate than we're cutting them down. As project coordinator at the District of Columbia’s Sustainable Energy Utility, Nabukalu focuses on helping reduce energy demand for residents, businesses and institutions throughout the Nation’s Capital, working with the account management and engineering teams to reach that goal.
Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett
Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine Team
At a December event hosted by the National Urban League, Dr. Anthony Fauci had one very important thing to say about the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, aka “mRNA-1273,” approved by the FDA for emergency use on Dec. 18. “The first thing you might want to say to my African-American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that you’re going to be taking was developed by an African-American woman,” Fauci said. “And that is just a fact.” Indeed, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a 35-year-old viral immunologist and research fellow in the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is the lead scientist on the team that developed the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. She built on her six years of experience studying the spike proteins of other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS in order to design the vaccine within two days of the novel coronavirus being discovered. (Spike proteins sit on the surface of coronaviruses and penetrate human cells, causing infection.) “I like to call it the plug-and-play approach,” Corbett, who has a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a virtual NIH lecture on Oct. 15. “Basically the idea [is] that we had so much knowledge based on work from us and from other labs previously that we were able to pull the trigger on vaccine development and start the ball rolling toward a phase 1 clinical trial.”
Magic Labs Media
Anthony Kapel "Van" Jones (born September 20, 1968) is an American news and political commentator, author, and lawyer. He is the co-founder of several non-profit organizations, a three-time New York Times bestselling author, a CNN host and contributor, and an Emmy Award winner.Jones served as President Barack Obama's Special Advisor for Green Jobs in 2009 and a distinguished visiting fellow at Princeton University. He founded or co-founded several non-profit organizations, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and the Dream Corps. The Dream Corps is a social justice accelerator that operates three advocacy initiatives: #cut50, #YesWeCode and Green for All. Jones has hosted or co-hosted CNN shows including Crossfire, The Messy Truth, The Van Jones Show and The Redemption Project with Van Jones. He is the author of The Green Collar Economy, Rebuild the Dream, and Beyond the Messy Truth; all three books rank as New York Times bestsellers. He is the co-founder of Magic Labs Media LLC, a producer of the WEBBY Award-winning Messy Truth digital series and Emmy Award-winning The Messy Truth VR Experience with Van Jones. He is a regular CNN political commentator. Jones worked with the Trump administration and members of Congress from both parties to pass a criminal justice reform effort known as the First Step Act. Jones is currently CEO of the REFORM Alliance, an initiative founded by Jay-Z and Meek Mill to transform the criminal justice system. He was also a longtime colleague of, and advisor to, musician Prince
Dr. Sam Grant has been organizing around the intersection of economic, cultural and environmental justice since working on his college campus for divestment from South Africa and working for passage of legislation ensuring that both workers and communities have the right to know about toxic chemicals in their workplaces and communities. Sam brings decades of nonprofit leadership, transformative organizing, and love to the work of MN350. He looks forward to engaging all Minnesotans in a movement that delivers sufficient reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and brings all our creativity together in a just transition that promotes a healthier future for all of us on our beautiful earth home, which all of us come to respect and honor with the way we live our lives well together.
Founder & Executive Director
Women and people of color are underrepresented in STEM jobs. Maydm, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit, is fighting to close that gap by training girls and youth of color on the skills needed to work in the technology sector. Winnie first discovered coding in high school. But it didn’t seem like a field for her. She’s very social; she’s female; and she’s African American.“It’s hard to enter a field where you’ve never seen anyone look like you,” says Karanja. “It just didn’t seem like a space for someone like me.” The tech industry is notorious for being largely white and male. Women and people of color are underrepresented in the field in Wisconsin and around the country. But in college and then graduate school at the London School of Economics, Karanja began to understand how she could marry her interest in international development and technology.In 2015, she launched Maydm, an educational nonprofit that teaches kids entry level tech skills in hopes of shifting the demographics of the industry to be include more women and more people of color.
Yale University, School of the Environment
Dr. Dorceta Taylor is a professor at the Yale School for the Environment. Prior to that she was a professor of environmental sociology at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) for 27 years. She was the James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Chair and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SEAS. She also helds a joint appointment with the Program in the Environment. Dr. Taylor is the former Field of Studies Coordinator for SEAS’ Environmental Justice Program and a past Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Environment and Technology Section. Professor Taylor received PhD and master’s degrees from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Department of Sociology at Yale University in 1991, 1988, and 1985.
In 2014 Dr. Taylor authored a landmark national report, The State of Diversity in Environmental Institutions: Mainstream NGOs, Foundations, and Government Agencies. She authored a second diversity report in 2014 entitled, Environmental Organizations in the Great Lakes Region: An Assessment of Institutional Diversity.
Mustafa Santiago Ali
Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization
A renowned thought leader, international speaker, policy maker, community liaison, trainer, and facilitator, Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali serves as the Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation. He is also the founder of Revitalization Strategies, a business focused on moving our most vulnerable communities from “surviving to thriving.” Before joining the National Wildlife Federation, Mustafa was the senior vice president for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the hip-hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. In his role, he led the strategic direction, expansion, and operation of the Hip Hop Caucus’ portfolio on climate, environmental justice, and community revitalization. Prior to joining the Hip Hop Caucus, Mustafa worked for 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He began working on social justice issues at the age of 16 and joined the EPA as a student, becoming a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ). He most recently served as senior advisor for environmental justice and community revitalization and assistant associate administrator, working to elevate environmental justice issues and strengthening environmental justice policies, programs, and initiatives. Mustafa worked for EPA administrators beginning with William Riley and ending with Scott Pruitt. Mustafa currently serves as a board member for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Union of Concerned Scientists, Rodenberry Foundation, TREE, and Climate Hawks Vote.
NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program
Jacqueline Patterson is the Senior Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Since 2007 Patterson has served as coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United. Jacqui Patterson has worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice. Patterson served as a Senior Women’s Rights Policy Analyst for ActionAid where she integrated a women’s rights lens for the issues of food rights, macroeconomics, and climate change as well as the intersection of violence against women and HIV&AIDS. Previously, she served as Assistant Vice-President of HIV/AIDS Programs for IMA World Health providing management and technical assistance to medical facilities and programs in 23 countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Patterson served as the Outreach Project Associate for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, West Indies. Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, Advisory Board for Center for Earth Ethics as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, The Hive: Gender and Climate Justice Fund, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, Greenprint Partners, Bill Anderson Fund and the National Black Workers Center.
Senior Product Manager
Angelina (she/her/hers) is currently a Senior Product Manager (PM) at Amazon where she drives product features and roadmap prioritization for Digital Software & Video Games (DSV). She owns the domain/roadmap for customer discovery which includes the customer shopping journey from search, product detail page, and checkout. Angelina transitioned into product management in 2015 and has been passionate about not only increase accessibility in all products, but also increasing the knowledge and representation of product management. Outside of her PM role, she is the President of the Black Employee Network (BEN), an Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Amazon. She focuses on being an advocate for inclusion and diversity, driving different initiatives and advising Amazon’s senior leaders, providing impactful programming, and growing a community inside and outside of Amazon. In addition to her work at Amazon she is a freelance instructor, adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas, speaker, and business and corporate diversity consultant. Angelina graduated from Colorado State University's College of Business as first generation student with her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) concentrating in corporate finance and supply chain management.
CEO & Founder,
At Sekuva, Fareedah Shaheed teaches online security to non-tech savvy people. Shaheed recently signed a five-figure contract with a multi-billion-dollar company to provide online security training for its employees on staying safe at work and at home. After being featured at Cisco for her work, she is now working on two additional projects with the tech giant. Inspired by her childhood in Saudi Arabia, where, as the only Black American in her school, she was bullied for her skin color and American roots, Shaheed wants to teach people how to protect their spaces online much like she had to do in person.
Ty McKeiver, joined Ogilvy’s Government Practice in December 2020 as the CERC-Liaison in FEMA Region 5. In this capacity, he is leading multi- faceted and integrated communications projects to help FEMA Region 5 and its community stakeholders promote community resilience to flood risk. Prior to Ogilvy, Ty was a Vice President for Global Strategy and Communications in the Global Financial Crimes Division at MUFG Bank, Ltd. There, he designed and delivered a global communications strategy that supported executive communications and employee engagement campaigns to raise awareness on global financial crimes compliance and risk management. Previously, he was Chief of Staff in the NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs where he was the chief strategist and focused efforts to strengthen sub-national engagement on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and promoted city diplomacy. Prior to that, Ty was a political appointee in the Obama Administration and served as a Senior Advisor at U.S. Department of State. While at State, he worked on initiatives to promote and enhance rule of law and criminal justice capacity building efforts globally in the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau; coordinated domestic and international efforts on CVE in the office of the Undersecretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights; and oversaw both functional and regional bureaus in the Office of the Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources. He has worked in various legislative and public affairs capacities at the U.S. Transportation Security Administration at DHS and the Bureau of Industry and Security at the Department of Commerce. As a professional staff member on the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security he focused on emergency communications, preparedness and response, and as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate he worked on immigration, telecom, judiciary, and government affairs issues. He was a field organizer for the Obama presidential campaign in 2008 and has volunteered in various capacities on a number of political and social campaigns at the local, state, national, and global levels. He received a Master of International Affairs degree with a focus in international security policy and management from Columbia University's School of
International and Public Affairs and Bachelor's degree in international relations from Florida International University.
Founder & CEO
Morgan DeBaun is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blavity, Inc., the largest media company for Black millennials. Under her leadership, the company has successfully acquired Travel Noire, a travel platform for Black millennials, and Shadow and Act, a Black entertainment news site. DeBaun has also launched several consumer summits, including Summit 21, for Black women creators and entrepreneurs, and AfroTech, the largest tech conference for Black innovators and founders. She is also the founder of M.Roze Essentials and WorkSmart. DeBaun received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Global Head of Corporate Engagement & President,
Goldman Sachs Foundation
Asahi Pompey is Global Head of Corporate Engagement and President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. She is a member of the Management Committee, Global Diversity Committee and the Sustainable Finance Steering Group. Ms. Pompey is also an ex-officio member of the Investment Banking Division Council for Advancement of Racial Equity. Prior to assuming her current role, Ms. Pompey was Co-Chief Compliance Officer of Goldman, Sachs & Co and Global Head of Investment Banking Division Compliance, and had responsibility for conduct risk. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2006 and was named Managing Director in 2010 and Partner in 2018.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Pompey was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where she worked in the New York and Frankfurt offices. Ms. Pompey serves on the Advisory Boards for Forbes Next 1000 and Glamour Women of the Year. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream.
Associate General Counsel, Civil Rights and Product Lead,
Julie Wenah has joined Facebook in May this year, as Associate General Counsel, Civil Rights and Product Lead at Facebook reporting into Roy Austin. Earlier in January this year, Women In Product appointed Julie Wenah's to their Board of Directors. Prior to joining Facebook, Wenah served as Airbnb's Community Senior Counsel and Acting Africa Regional Counsel, where she drove legal support of civil liberties efforts, manages escalated risk, provides legal support to the Africa business, and counseled the product and community support teams. She also led Airbnb's pro-bono and legal diversity inclusion efforts.Prior to Airbnb, she served as Counselor and Policy Advisor at the White House and U.S. Department of Commerce, where she led President Obama's manufacturing initiative and worked on regulatory frameworks and technical assistance supporting energy agreements in Africa. She began her career in Washington working in First Lady Michelle Obama's policy shop and she later culminated her experience by advancing the Liberian segment of Mrs. Obama's CNN film, "We Will Rise."
Jarrid Tingle is Managing Partner of Harlem Capital where he focuses on deal sourcing, organizational strategy, and due diligence efforts. Jarrid was featured on the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list, 2019 Inc. 30 under 30 list, and the 2018 Ebony Power 100 list. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS) in 2019 where he was a Baker Scholar (top 5% of class). During HBS, Jarrid was a fellow in the Robert Toigo Foundation and Management Leadership for Tomorrow MBA Programs. Previously, Jarrid was a Private Equity Investment Professional at ICV Partners. Prior to ICV, Jarrid was an Investment Banker in the Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group at Barclays. Jarrid graduated cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Concentration in Finance. Jarrid was an active member of Friars Senior Society, Onyx Senior Honor Society, and The Lantern Senior Society. Upon graduation, Jarrid received the Wharton Undergraduate Dean’s Award for Excellence (Wharton’s highest honor).
President & CEO,
New York Urban League
Arva Rice is President & CEO of the New York Urban League (NYUL) an organization whose mission is to enable African Americans and other underserved communities to secure a first class education, economic self-reliance and equal respect of their civil rights through programs, services and advocacy. Prior to joining NYUL, she served as the Executive Director of Project Enterprise, an organization that provides business loans, and technical assistance to entrepreneurs. Previously she served as the founding Executive Director of Public Allies New York – a young adult leadership program dedicated to helping develop the next generation of non-profit leaders. Arva was also Program Director of an Economic Literacy Initiative at Girls Incorporate, a national non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring girls to become strong, smart and bold. Arva was selected by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as one of 16 leaders from across the country for its 2013-2014 Children and Family Fellows. She is a recipient of The Network Journal’s “Forty Under 40” Black Achiever’s Award Winners, and also received the magazine’s 25 Most Influential Women in Business Award. Most recently she received The Chancellor’s Educational Leadership Award from CUNY and an alum award from Northwestern University. Arva is a graduate of Northwestern University, Commissioner for the NYC Equal Employment Practices Commission, a member of the Women’s Forum and the Greater New York Chapter of The Links Incorporated.
World Explorers Group
Keyanna Murrill is an entrepreneur, artist, and creative specialist. She co-founded and has been growing New York City Explorers, a creative collective of family focused companies located in Downtown Brooklyn, with her business partner, Kisha Edwards-Gandsy, since 2007. Keyanna has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and is a member of SAG/AFTRA. As a creative specialist, she has used her talents to create enrichment classes to educate children, train childcare professionals in use of creative teaching methods, and development curriculum for her businesses and other organizations. Keyanna has been acting professionally since 1999 and spends her time working with national and international organizations as well as individuals to help educate and enrich the lives of children around the world. She does this by facilitating workshops, participating in youth and young adult development projects, developing enrichment classes to promote global awareness for children, and has assisted with providing electricity to an international preschool.
Dr. Philip O. Ozuah
President & CEO,
Dr. Ozuah is the President and CEO of Montefiore Medicine, the umbrella organization for Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. A nationally recognized physician, leader, executive, researcher, teacher and author, Dr. Ozuah previously served as President of Montefiore Health System. A National Institutes of Health (NIH)–funded researcher and award-winning educator, he also served as Professor and University Chairman of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief of Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). In these roles, Dr. Ozuah expanded access for underserved communities, recruited and cultivated outstanding talent, advanced programs of excellence, fostered innovations in medical education, and improved financial and operational performance by integrating care across a rapidly growing and evolving Montefiore system that sees over six million patient interactions a year. Under his leadership, Montefiore Health System’s specialties ranked in the top 1 percent of the nation’s hospitals, and CHAM was recognized as one of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” according to U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Ozuah has been recognized locally and nationally for excellence in teaching and patient care, including as an inductee into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and a two-time recipient of the Academic Pediatric Association’s prestigious Helfer Award for Innovation in Medical Education. Along with his various awards for teaching and clinical excellence, Dr. Ozuah has also been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the “Top 25 COOs in Healthcare.” Dr. Ozuah earned his medical degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Southern California and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He completed his Pediatric Internship and Residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore, and his Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Medical Education at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.
Vice President - Global Commercial Banking Associate,Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Vice President, Bank of America- Miquan Lammy worked days, nights and weekends to process as many Paycheck Protection Program loans as he could to help struggling businesses. As VP - Global Commercial Banking Associate, Bank of America, Miquan is responsible for providing business development solutions to Middle Market clients with revenues from $50 million to $2 billion within the New York Metro area. Manage prospecting process and client presentations including market analysis, industry valuations, pitch books and relationship reviews. Before joining BankAm in 2016, Miquan started his career at JP Morgan as a Financial Analyst and worked there for a couple of years. Miquan is an undergrad in Accounting from Howard University.
William S. Floyd
Head, External Affairs,
William Floyd is a public policy professional, issues management strategist and lobbyist with over 30 years experience working in government, private and non-profit sectors. Currently Mr. Floyd is the director of state and local government affairs and public policy for Google. Overseeing a team of twelve, Mr. Floyd is responsible for managing the company’s local government/regulatory interactions and community relations across the country. Before joining Google, Mr. Floyd was a member of the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, where he was a senior advisor in its Government and Regulatory Policy Division, providing strategic counsel and government affairs support for a wide array of clients in the business and non profit sectors. Prior to his stint at the law firm, Mr. Floyd worked as the Director of Community Affairs for New York and Connecticut for Verizon Communications Inc where he organized Verizon’s response immediately following the 9-11 attacks. Mr Floyd spent over nine years in New York City government, working at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the city’s lead agent for economic development, as well as in other City agencies, including the 1989 New York City Charter Revision Commission, and the 2003 NYC Districting Commission.
David M Harris
Executive Managing Director,
Cushman & Wakefield
David joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2017, and currently is responsible for West Region - Client Service Delivery - Global Occupier Services. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield in 2017, David was Managing Director, Global Head of Centers of Excellence, Corporate Real Estate Solutions, Barclays, for two and a half years, based out of London. During his stint as VP, Real Estate and Workplace Services at Motorola Mobility, between 2011 and 2014, some of his notable accomplishments include - Re-setting Motorola’s cost structure by rationalizing its global real estate footprint, supporting corporate divestitures and optimized our support organization to sustainable levels. Since the acquisition by Google, he was instrumental in reducing the number of sites by 65% and reduced annual operating expenses by 50%. He also drove the development and relocation of 2,200 person world-class engineering HQ and prototype factory to downtown Chicago. Oversaw significant change management effort to ensure engineers immediately reap the benefit of this state-of-the-art collaborative and integrated design center. Prior to Motorola, David worked close to a decade at Sun Microsystems. He also worked in leadership roles at CoreNet Global, Ameritech (AT&T), JLL and Pepsi. David has an undergrad in Chemical Engineering from Howard University and Masters of Science from New York University.
Ugwem I. Eneyo
Co-founder & CEO
SHYFT Power Solutions
SHYFT Power Solutions is an award-winning, venture-backed energy technology company that is pioneering the use of IoT, software and big data to improve access to clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions in markets that struggle with grid resiliency. Ugwem I. Eneyo spent time in Andoni in the Rivers State in the Niger Delta. It is the epicenter of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, a sector responsible for 83% of the country’s exports. “If you’re familiar with the region and its history, you’re aware of the enormously devastating environmental and socioeconomic impact of the oil and gas industry. From childhood, I became somewhat obsessed about understanding the nexus of development, energy, and environment,” said Eneyo. As an adult, Eneyo turned that obsession into a company. As a former Stanford MS/PhD student in Civil & Environmental Engineering, Ms. Eneyo’s studies explored how we use tech to create ‘grids of the future’ but particularly in emerging markets. She’s given talks on the nexus of energy and sustainable development to global thought leaders, including the World Bank.
Paula R. Glover
Alliance to Save Energy
Paula R. Glover started as President of the Alliance to Save Energy in January 2021. A dynamic leader with more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry, Ms. Glover is the seventh president in the Alliance’s 43-year history. Ms. Glover previously served as President and CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, a non-profit professional association whose focus is to ensure that African Americans and other minorities have input into the discussions and development of energy policy, regulations, and environmental issues. In this role, she was responsible for managing the national office, and providing strategic direction and leadership for the organization. Prior to this role, Ms. Glover served as AABE’s Vice President of Operations and as the organization’s Director of Communications. Ms. Glover’s other experiences include 15 years in the energy industry for both electric and natural gas distribution companies. During that time, she built a stellar reputation working with state legislators and regulators in her roles as Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs. Ms. Glover commands a clear understanding of the consumer and community sides of the business as well having held industry positions in Community Outreach and Economic Development. Ms. Glover is a seasoned non-Profit professional. Prior to her time at AABE, Ms. Glover was the Community Awareness Director for the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut where she was responsible for the organizations’ marketing, communications, community and government relations and public relations functions. Ms. Glover has served on the National Petroleum Council since 2014. She serves on the board of the Keystone Policy Center and Groundswell, a community solar development organization. She is also a Trustee for Cardigan Mountain School, a junior boarding school in Canaan, NH. She received her B.S. in Marketing Management from the University of Delaware.
LG Chem Michigan Inc. Tech Center
Denise Gray is currently president of LG Energy Solution Michigan Inc. Tech Center in Troy, Michigan overseeing the North American subsidiary of South Korean LG Chem Ltd., one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers. Prior to that she was President and Chief Executive Officer of LG Chem Power, Inc., a company focused on bringing lithiumion polymer battery technology to North America for applications in the automotive and commercial markets from September 2015 until March 2018. From March 2013 until September 2015 she was Vice President, Powertrain Electrification at AVL List GMBH in Graz, Austria and North America. She also spent 30 years at General Motors in roles of increasing responsibility including heading up Global Battery Systems Engineering where she was recognized as “the battery czar,” and a driving force behind General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt vehicle. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and a master’s degree in Engineering Management Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She currently serves on the Board of Tenneco.
Vicky A Bailey
US Energy Association
Vicky A. Bailey has over thirty years of high level, national and international, corporate executive and governmental expertise in energy and regulated industries. Ms. Bailey started her career as a Commissioner, at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission appointed by Governor Robert Orr and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission appointed by President Bill Clinton, and as President/CEO, member of the Board of Directors, of PSI Energy, Inc., Indiana’s largest electric utility, now Duke Indiana. She was appointed by President George W. Bush to be the leading international official at the United States Department of Energy (2001-2004) as the first Assistant Secretary for both International Affairs and Domestic Policy. During her appointment, Ms. Bailey served as Vice Chair of the International Energy Agency (IEA) headquartered in Paris, France and post Sept. 11th, she was chair of several bilateral international working groups among energy producing nations. Ms. Bailey led the efforts of the North American Energy Working Group to foster communication and cooperation among the governments and energy sectors of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Also, in her capacity, she participated in establishing a permanent International Energy Forum Secretariat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to promote the exchange of energy data and information.
Ms. Bailey has extensive entrepreneurial skills and experience. First in joining a family business, J. Bailey Co., headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, from 1980-1986 which grew to four retail locations distributing hair care products in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Following her career in government, from 2004-2013 she was an equity owner of BHMM Energy Services LLC, a certified minority owned energy facilities management company in partnership with Citizens Gas. BHMM competed and won the contract with the Indianapolis Airport Authority to conduct the construction, operations, expansion, maintenance and management of the Central Energy Center and the Connector for the new Midfield Terminal which opened in November, 2008. The positioning of the new terminal between two runways required BHMM to do a $38 million transaction in order to construct and utilize an innovative technology to bore the hole under the runways for installation and placement of cable work. Presently, as founder of Anderson Stratton International LLC management advisory services, her clients past and present include E.ON, Georgia Power, Edison Electric Institute, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, ERCB of Alberta, Direct Energy (subsidiary of Centrica, UK), and the Nuclear Matters Leadership Council. Currently, Ms. Bailey’s corporate directorships include: EQT Corporation (2004-present), one of the largest natural gas producers in the Appalachian Basin with a $12B market cap headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. EQT is one of the dominant producers in the Marcellus Shale Gas play. Cheniere Energy (2005-present), a Houston based energy company with a $10B market cap leads North America in the operation and construction of liquefied natural gas terminals.
Dr. Robert L. Wallace
Bithenergy offers intelligent strategies and full implementation services for development of renewable energy systems, managing energy consumption, and smart grid infrastructure build-out. A certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Bithenergy solves complex energy challenges with innovation and bold vision. BITHGROUP also works with the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program, which encourages economic development and employment growth in distressed areas.
Head of Digital Experience
The 39-year-old boasts quite a diverse résumé: Cole is an alumna of the Obama administration and the Department of Education, practiced as a litigator, and worked as an analyst at Morgan Stanley. Now, she heads up digital experience at the Massachusetts-based firm, which saw profits jump 830% year over year in 2019 on $37.3 billion in sales. Cole spearheads MassMutual’s customer-focused products including its web and mobile apps, and recently accelerated the rollout of a digital client profiling tool that helps the firm’s financial professionals learn more about clients while they’ve been unable to meet in person. Apart from working to fast-track some of the firm’s digital projects, Cole has also been a key voice in leading dialogue within the company about racial injustice, and says her favorite piece of career advice, to “take good care of your people,” has taken on a whole new meaning in light of the pandemic and racist violence of the past few months.
Co-founder and CEO
In 2020, COVID-19 lockdowns across the world hit brick-and-mortar businesses hard. Africa’s small shops and restaurants, very few of which have an online presence, were particularly vulnerable. Enter Flutterwave, a tech startup based in San Francisco and Lagos, Nigeria, that is known for helping companies process customers’ online transactions during checkout. Amid lockdown, Flutterwave expanded from specializing in digital cash registers to hosting digital storefronts, helping some 20,000 small businesses suddenly without foot traffic set up online shops, receive payments and arrange delivery options. “We called it ‘Keeping the Lights On,’” says Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave’s co-founder and CEO, who lives in Washington, D.C. The company processed more than 80 million transactions, worth $7.5 billion, in 2020, establishing it as Africa’s premier payment-solution provider. Now Flutterwave—which already has a presence in 17 African countries—is planning to leverage that momentum into greater expansion, so that a customer in South Africa, for example, can seamlessly use her Kenyan digital wallet to buy products in Senegal. “Africa is not a country,” says Agboola. “But we make it feel like one.” Prior to Flutterwave, Agboola, a graduate of the MBA program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, worked as an application engineer at PayPal and in product management at Google Wallet.
Managing Director & Group Partner, Y Combinator
Michael works at Y Combinator as a Group Partner and Managing Director of YC early stage. Previously, he was a co-founder and CEO of Justin.tv from 2007 - 2011 and the co-founder and CEO of Socialcam in 2012. During 2012, Socialcam participated in Y Combinator, raised angel financing from a group of amazing investors, and sold to Autodesk Inc. for $60m (link). Needless to say - it was a busy year. In 2014, Justin.tv became Twitch Interactive and under the leadership of Emmett Shear and Kevin Lin sold to Amazon for $970m.
Before getting into tech, Michael spent a year as the finance director for a US Senate campaign and before that he graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in political science.
Raven, The Science Maven
Raven Baxter, also known as Raven the Science Maven, is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed science educator and molecular biologist who works to progress science culture by creating spaces that are inclusive, educational, and real. She is an entertainer and content creator known for her unique style of combining science and music that teaches and empowers those in STEM and beyond. Raven speaks about innovation in science education and social change in STEM. She is completing a doctorate in science education in May 2021. Raven is the founder of Science Haven, an organization that operates at the intersections of science, education, and the public. Science Haven houses STEMbassy, a live web series that connects the public with science and technology professionals, and Black In Science Communication, a group that works to build relationships in the science community, equipping others with the knowledge and resources necessary to share science with the world in their own flavor. Raven also owns and operates Smarty Pants, a clothing company that sells fun and stylish STEM-themed apparel and accessories. Smarty Pants also contributes a portion of its sales toward a scholarship for STEM students. Raven has quickly developed a reputation as a strong voice in science and has been recognized as a global influencer in several publications, including Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list for 2020. Raven has also earned the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in honor of her service in educating the public about COVID-19.
Dr Abasi Ene-Obong
Founder & CEO
Dr Abasi Ene-Obong is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of 54gene, a health technology company advancing the state of healthcare through large scale discovery and translational research, advanced molecular diagnostics, and clinical programs for the benefit of Africans and the global population. He holds a PhD in Cancer Biology from University of London, a Masters in human molecular genetics from Imperial College London and a Masters in Business Management from Claremont Colleges, California. He also worked as a cancer researcher and published a seminal paper on pancreatic cancer immunology, Gastroenterology Journal. He has extensive experience operating in the US, UK and Nigerian healthcare industries. Prior to 54gene, Dr Ene-Obong worked with leading healthcare organisations, including Fortune 100 pharmaceutical companies, academic and research institutions, and governments as a management consultant with PwC and IQVIA (formerly QuintilesIMS). Founded in 2019, 54gene has made the Time Magazine list of 12 innovations that would change healthcare in the 2020s and has been listed by Nigeria’s Punch newspaper as 1 of 5 innovations that would improve healthcare for Africans. 54gene also made the Fast Company list of the world’s ‘Most Innovative Companies’ in 2020. It was also awarded the best health technology solution by AppsAfrica and Dr Ene-Obong was listed as 1 of 30 most innovative entrepreneurs on the African continent in 2019 by Quartz Africa. In September 2020, Dr Ene-Obong was labelled a Nigerian hero in the fight against COVID-19, by Nigerian newspaper, ThisDay, and also included in Fortune’s 40 under 40 most influential people in healthcare for the year 2020.
CEO & Founder
Helen Adeosun, CEO and Founder of CareAcademy, has had a career in driving outcomes for adult learners and has been listed as one of Fortune’s 2020 40 Under 40 in Health. She has first-hand experience as a caregiver and has worked with Teach for America, Boston Public Schools, and Pearson Education as well as a number of companies focused on caregiving issues. Adeosun, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants and a former Teach for America volunteer, got a master’s in education policy at Harvard before founding her Boston-based business in 2013. Seven years later, health care organizations (including fellow 40 Under 40 member Lily Sarafan’s Home Care Assistance) use its online video coursework to help their employees stay up-to-date on their certifications and other training requirements. More than 110,000 caregivers have completed 400,000 CareAcademy classes, and the company is aiming to reskill more than 1 million new home-care workers by 2023. It will have some support from venture fund Kairos, which is placing job candidates who go through CareAcademy training, and from investors led by Impact America Fund, which in June committed $9.5 million in Series A funding to Adeosun and her company.
Planetary Protection Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
Moogega (pronounced Moo-ji-gae) Cooper is the Lead Planetary Protection Engineer for Mars 2020. She was responsible for ensuring spacecraft compliance with cleanliness requirements. This required interfacing with several entities within JPL, vendors, and NASA Headquarters. Moogega is a recipient of several awards, including the NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, the Charles Elachi Award for Exceptional Early Career Achievement, and JPL Voyager Awards for Technical Leadership. In addition to her work at JPL, she also enjoys public outreach, collaborating with schools, lecture series, and media organizations to spread the love of STEAM.
Founder & CEO
Angelina Darrisaw is a social entrepreneur, an international business and career coach and a digital media strategist. She is the founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach, a career-coaching platform that provides development resources to diverse working professionals. Prior to founding C-Suite Coach, she was the Senior Manager of Digital Business Development at Viacom where she developed strategic business opportunities and partnerships with companies like Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr and ESPN. Angelina holds an M.A. in Management from Wake Forest University, a Certificate of Coaching from New York University (where she is now an adjunct professor) and a B.A. in Political Science from Davidson College.
Director of Communications, Lifestyle Networks, NBCUniversal Media, LLC
With a proven track record of innovation, execution & results, Imani currently works on the Bravo and E! Entertainment communications team at NBCUniversal, spearheading press strategy on a variety of shows including Bravo's Emmy-Nominated "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Emmy-Nominated "Million Dollar Listing New York," and E! News programming. She also works on key diversity and inclusion initiatives and manages social insight and strategy. Forbes Magazine calls Imani a "visionary" and she was recently named a 2020 Adweek Diversity Champion.
Imani is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where she majored in Communications with a double minor in German and Film. She is the founder of The Creative Collective NYC and CultureCon.
DeRay Mckesson is a civil rights activist focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, he graduated from Bowdoin College and holds honorary doctorates from The New School and the Maryland Institute College of Art. DeRay has advocated for issues related to children, youth, and families since he was a teen. As a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement and a co-founder of Campaign Zero, DeRay has worked to connect individuals with knowledge and tools, and provide citizens and policy makers with commonsense policies that ensure equity. He has been praised by President Obama for his work as a community organizer, has advised officials at all levels of government and internationally, and continues to provide capacity to activists, organizers, and influencers to make an impact. Spurred by the death of Mike Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and beyond, DeRay has become a key player in the work to confront the systems and structures that have led to mass incarceration and police killings of black and other minority populations. He is also the host of the award-winning weekly podcast Pod Save The People - which creates space for conversation about the most important issues of the week related to justice, equity and identity.
DeRay frequently appears on national media outlets including The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, NPR, MSNBC, CNN, among many others. He has also been featured on the cover of The Advocate, Adweek, and Attitude Magazine and has been highlighted in a range of publications including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview Magazine, VICE, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun. He is a board member of Rock The Vote, was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015, one of the 30 Most Influential People On The Internet by Time Magazine in 2016.
Co-founder & CEO
Five to Nine
Jasmine is the Co-Founder & CEO of Five to Nine, a VC-backed startup that's influencing the future of work. Five to Nine allows companies to better manage and measure the efficacy of their employee engagement programs. Currently, less than 10% of companies know the ROI behind their employee programming/events and her team is closing that gap. Five to Nine has raised $1.2M and has been invested in by top firms such as Kapor Capital and Morgan Stanley. Jasmine is one of Forbes’ latest 30 Under 30, a graduate from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business (recipient of the inaugural Entrepreneurial Scholarship), and a U.S. Department of State Fellow. In her spare time, Jasmine loves to salsa dance, teach youth about entrepreneurship, and serve on the Alumni Board for her alma mater, Notre Dame. Jasmine has been featured in Vice, Forbes, Business Insider, TEDx, Black Enterprise, Yahoo Finance, Marketwatch and others.
Trinity Mouzon Wofford
In 2020, the Black-owned wellness company Golde made five times the amount of revenue that it did in 2019. In the month of June alone, the company saw more sales than in the entirely of 2019. CEO and co-founder Trinity Mouzon Wofford (the youngest Black woman to launch a business at Sephora) started the brand with her high-school sweetheart Issey Kobori in 2017. Their goal: to make the buzzy world of wellness more accessible and fun for the next generation of consumers. Driven by the lockdown, the increased interest in self-care, and the growing movement to support Black-owned businesses following the murder of George Floyd, Golde’s growth has been “nothing short of an explosion,” Mouzon Wofford says. Kourtney Kardashian and Beyoncé featured the brand’s Clean Greens mask. In August, the company appeared on the Today show and had its biggest sales day ever. Business continues to thrive, with Golde now launching at Target with Super-Ades, a collection of beverage powders for $15 and under containing super-ingredients like probiotics, magnesium, blueberries, and pineapples that you can easily mix with water. The brand’s masks can be found at the national retailer now too.
Chief Branding Officer & Co-Founder, Politiscope
Walter Powell is a 4-year NFL Player and Entrepreneur. He launched the successful clothing line, SPKZ, in New York through VaynerMedia selling snapback caps and other headgear. Walter also owns real estate in St. Louis, Missouri where he restores damaged properties and opens them up for retired US Veterans. He actively works with other athletes and entrepreneurs to promote leadership and financial security to underprivileged communities.
Data for Black Lives
Yeshimabeit Milner is co-founder and executive director of Data for Black Lives. Raised in Miami, FL, Yeshimabeit began organizing against the school-to-prison pipeline at Power U Center for Social Change as a high school senior. There she developed a lifelong commitment to movement building as a vehicle for creating and sustaining large-scale social change. Yeshimabeit returned to Power U in 2013 to lead a victorious campaign to improve breastfeeding policies at the largest public hospital in the country. More recently, she was a campaign manager at Color of Change, where she spearheaded several major national initiatives, including OrganizeFor, the only online petition platform dedicated to building the political voice of Black people, and a successful campaign to remove Bill O’Reilly from television. She has a BA from Brown University and serves on the board of the Highlander Center in Tennessee.
Founder and CEO
A native of South Central Los Angeles, Nicole Tinson is an HBCU, Diversity and Inclusion, and Civil Rights advocate. She has learned to transform her pain into power and has made it her life's work to empower others along the way. Nicole is the Founder + CEO of HBCU 20x20, a national diversity and inclusion company that connects HBCU students and alumni to jobs and internships. Since September 2017, HBCU 20x20 has placed 1,000+ people into job and internship opportunities, while partnering with companies including AT&T, Intel, Accenture, Electronic Arts, PwC, SpaceX, and more.
She is an alumna of Dillard University and Yale University, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and was recently named on the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30, Social Entrepreneurs List, in addition to HBCU Buzz's Top 30 Under 30 List, and Dillard University's 40 Under 40 list.
Founder & Executive Director
Beyond the Built Environment
As an architect and an activist, Pascale Sablan, FAIA, is a champion of women and diverse design professionals. Through documentation, careful curation, and promotion of their work, she has greatly enhanced the profession and broadened social awareness of the built environment. Just the 315th Black woman architect to attain licensure in the United States, Sablan’s drive has inspired those around her and spurred the network she has built to advocate for themselves and their communities.
Sablan is a senior associate at New York’s S9 Architecture and has represented the firm at a number of local and national professional events and educational institutions, assuming a variety of roles from lecturer to panel discussion participant. Sablan’s very first project, while a member of Aarris Architects’ team, helped position her as an advocate. Sablan joined the firm when it was a finalist for the design of the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York, and she helped construct models and contributed to drawings from the schematic design through design development. Sablan also drafted the numerous symbols now engraved along the walls of this important monument, which shares the history of the more than 20,000 African slaves buried beneath City Hall and neighboring federal buildings. A member of the Haitian diaspora, Sablan was selected by AMHE, a Haitian humanitarian organization, to serve as the lead architect for its new school campus in the country, replacing the one destroyed in the devastating 2010 earthquake. For the project, Sablan blended her humanitarian and mentoring interests and designed the sustainable campus with the aid of high school students involved in the ACE Mentor Program. Together, they shaped the campus and its requisite structures to withstand future events while positioning it as an important resource for both students and the community surrounding it. In addition, Sablan has regularly traveled to Haiti to assist in rebuilding the significant number of elementary schools destroyed in the earthquake and to lead construction workshops for local contractors.
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Cushman & Wakefield
As Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Cushman & Wakefield, Nadine Augusta drives global commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a firmwide priority. This includes creating an environment that offers equitable and fair growth opportunities for all employees and the businesses with which Cushman & Wakefield works, while ensuring the firm brings diverse thought and expertise to its clients. Nadine takes a holistic approach to DEI, with a focus on workforce, workplace and marketplace, especially in the areas of recruiting, talent development and supplier diversity. Nadine has more than 20 years of experience in financial services, with key positions in management consulting, project management, sales and trading, and diversity and inclusion. Prior to assuming her current position, she was Americas Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Goldman Sachs, where she led talent engagement, equity and inclusion efforts. Before that, Nadine worked at The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) as the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility, and held various leadership positions at Bank of America, including Senior Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion. Notably, she was a member of the U.S. Trust and Merrill Lynch merger integration teams, contributing to the wealth management pre-merger assessment and integration strategy and leading the Global Markets technology deployment testing strategies. Nadine has also worked at several leading institutions, including Credit Suisse, BearingPoint LLC/KPMG Consulting LLC, and Pershing LLC. Nadine is a member of the Board of Trustees for Brooklyn LAB Charter School, has twice received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and was a recipient of the “Black Achiever in Industry” award from the YMCA of Greater New York. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Peter's University in New Jersey and completed the Ascent Executive Leadership Program at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. She resides in New York.
Director of Creator Community, TikTok
Kudzi Chikumbu is the Director of Creator Community at TikTok where he is responsible for developing the creator and partner community through creator marketing, partnerships, education and communication. Kudzi has developed content strategies for top and emerging creators including James Charles, Loren Gray, and Amanda Cerny. He has a deep passion for content creators, user-generated video content and its ability to create a deeper form of engagement between audience and creator.
Kudzi began his business career as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting in South Africa where he focused on solving complex business problems for multinational companies. He then moved to the U.S. where he worked in content acquisition at Hulu while enrolled at Stanford Graduate School of Business. After which, he moved into the world of online video at musical.ly where he worked in Entertainment and Creator Partnerships.
Kudzi holds an MBA from Stanford and a Bachelor in Business Science (Finance & Accounting) from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He has been featured in CNBC, The Hollywood Reporter, Refinery 29 and more.
Dr Paul Judge
Dr. Paul Judge is a technology entrepreneur and investor. He is Managing Partner at Panoramic Ventures. Previously, Paul has cofounded three companies that were acquired and has invested in over 60 technology startups. He is the Cofounder and Chairman of Pindrop and cofounder of TechSquare Labs. Pindrop’s voice security technology protects some of the largest enterprises in the world and has received over $200 million of venture capital funding. TechSquare Labs is a company building studio and venture fund based in Atlanta. He was the cofounder of Luma Home, a consumer WiFi company. From 2009-2014 he was Chief Research Officer and VP at Barracuda Networks. In 2007 he founded Purewire and served as Chief Technology Officer until Purewire was acquired by Barracuda Networks in 2009. Previously he served as Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President for Secure Computing. Judge was the Chief Technology Officer at CipherTrust, where he managed the research and product management teams and was the lead inventor on all patented messaging security technologies. CipherTrust was the market share leader in messaging security prior to its acquisition by Secure Computing for $270 million in 2006. Prior to his tenure at CipherTrust, Dr. Judge worked with IBM and NASA. Paul has received many awards including being named to Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, MIT’s Technology Review Magazine’s “Top 100 Innovators under 35”, Black Enterprise’s “50 Most Powerful Players Under 40”, and InfoWorld’s “Top 25 CTOs”. He is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. Dr. Judge holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Morehouse College, and earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech.
Ryan A. Williams
Co-founder & CEO
Williams began his career in real estate technology during his undergraduate term at Harvard. He was inspired to create a system to track foreclosed homes after seeing the impact of foreclosures during a trip to Atlanta. By using data about properties and neighborhoods, he was able to start a business purchasing deeply undervalued homes and restoring them to occupancy.This business "flipping" homes with classmates and others as investors was his first entrepreneurial venture. In 2020, he highlighted the importance of Citizens Trust Bank, an Atlanta bank founded by five Black businessmen and currently a Black-owned bank, to his early success. As a young Black man he was denied loans by 10 other banks before the then-chairman of Citizens Trust personally called to say that he believed in Willlams. After graduation from Harvard, he worked at Goldman Sachs and Blackstone before founding Cadre in 2014. He worked at Blackstone in their real estate private equity division. At 26 years old, he left Blackstone to found Cadre, a financial technology platform that seeks to make the real estate market more like a stock market. Williams currently serves as CEO of Cadre and has led it through a $65 million Series C fundraising round led by Andreessen Horowitz.He has been quoted as saying “Cadre’s mission is to create a more efficient economy, where we can connect the world’s buyers and sellers in opaque assets that have been inaccessible to many.” He believes that increasing the ability of investors to participate in alternative asset classes (such as "energy, natural resources, oil, infrastructure or anything that’s historically been privately held or inaccessible" will expand the opportunity to build multi-generational wealth to many more members of the world by "giving people direct, deal-by-deal access to commercial real estate, like you would buy and sell something on Amazon." To him, that mission includes a secondary market and the ability of investors to select the deals they are most interested in, at lower cost. The Economist compared Williams' Cadre to other tools that will "make markets for all kinds of assets as liquid as the stockmarket.